Oregon isn’t vaccinating people fast enough, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement Monday.
She called on the Oregon Health Authority to ramp up its vaccination efforts and reach a benchmark of 12,000 vaccines administered per day. The governor gave the agency two weeks to meet the goal.
“Let me be clear: we must vaccinate Oregonians as quickly as possible. Oregon families, schools, and businesses are counting on rapid vaccine distribution. We all are,” Brown said in the statement.
Vaccination efforts in Oregon and across the country have been far from smooth. Unreliable shipments, uneven distribution, holidays, and issues with cold-storage have slowed the state’s efforts to vaccinate 300,000 healthcare workers.
Oregon planned to vaccinate 100,000 people by the end of December. Despite repeated assurances from the Oregon Health Authority that the goal was attainable, as of Dec. 30, just 31,000 doses had been administered.
Still, Brown says that Oregon has administered roughly the same number of vaccinations per capita as other states.
The slow rollout threatens Oregon’s plans to reopen schools by Feb. 15. Teachers have been identified to be among the first essential workers to be vaccinated, once all healthcare workers who want the shot have received it.
If Oregon can administer 12,000 doses per day, Brown said the state would be on-track to administer all vaccines the week they are delivered.
”OHA will be working with health care providers, pharmacies, and local public health partners to streamline the distribution process to achieve that goal,” Brown said.